Thorne Lodge of Mark Master Mason No,1004 is most definitely on the up following an excellent year under the Stewardship of Worshipful Brother Colin Middleton. They have been successfully building their membership base for some years and can now look at a ladder of young Brethren for the forseeable future and that includes Jason Figgett whose Installation took place on Thursday, 7th March. The Lodge was opened in due form by W.Bro.Colin and the routine items, including a donation of one thousand, five hundred pounds to the Festival were covered. The latter, means that with anticipated receipts over the next year they should achieve Gold Award status by 2021 at the latest, well done.
A report then brought forward Asst.Prov.G.D.C., W.Bro. John Grey who announced that the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Steggles G.M.R.A.C. wished to join the party accompanied by W.Bro.John Maxwell, Elected Member of the Charity Comittee. R.W.Bro.Jim was duly admitted together with an Escort including two Past Deputy Provincial Grand Masters, V.W.Bro. Bob Corfield from our province and V.W.Bro.Neil Woodward of North and East Yorkshire. The M.E. was presented by W.Bro. Mick Ricketts, and the W.M. posed the necessary questions which brought forward a dispensation as Bro.Jason has yet to go through his Craft Chair. His Obligation despatched in good form and the Signs and Secrets of an Installed Master revealed to him, W.Bro. Jason was placed in the Chair of the Lodge.
The Past Masters then took over with the Working Tools explained by W.Bro. Barry Edge and the Keystone Collaret by W.Bro. David Spencer , both admirably delivered. The Appointment and Investiture of the Officers then took place, they do look young! This included Bro.John Brandon who went off the scene for a little while but now looks fit and well, a delight to see him back on the ladder.
The addresses, all impeccably presented, were dealt with as follows; Worshipful Master, W.Bro.Colin, Wardens, W.Bro. John English, Overseers, V.W.Bro.Bob Corfield and Brethren by R.W.Bro.Jim, well I did say they were impeccable, I can grovel with the best. One last item of note, W.Bro. John English presenting W.Bro.Colin with his Past Masters Jewel , thoroughly deserved for a job well done.
Attention then focussed on the Festive Board, eagerly received and despatched, with the Toast to the Province delivered in formal manner by W.Bro.Jason. This prompted the immediate response from R.W.Bro. Jim that at least there was nothing contentious to cover. The P.G.M. is in his seventh year, doesn’t time fly when you are enjoying yourself, then reminded the W.M. that he is now the Ambassador for his Lodge and should represent them around the Province, particularly the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge when, ideally he should be accompanied by his Wardens and, if possible, Brethren. The major even tor the Festival this year will be the Perimeter Perambulation and he encouraged Brethren to become involved if possible but also to support the initiative with other fund raising ideas, small events such as coffee mornings Sunday Luncheons. Other dates for your diaries; John Whitworth, Groups of the Sixties 30th March and 27th April plus Desert Island Discs featuring the P.G.M. at Danum, Sunday March 24th. Lastly for those of you who have never witnessed a Centenary Meeting, Peace Lodge of MMM, Saturday 30th March, book in , well worth the visit.
Responding to an eloquent toast to the Charities by W.Bro. David Spencer, W.Bro. John said a huge thank you to the Lodge for their substantial donation. He also mentioned the Almoners Workshops, the brain child of W.Bro.Paul Leach, shortly to become the Provincial Almoner. These are a must not only for present Lodge Almoners but also those who consider that they may accept the Office in the future and Worshipful Masters to provide a clearer idea of the Role. I have often heard it said at Lodges that we are all Almoners. However I have encountered a number of Lodges in the last year that have had great difficulty in finding a Brother to accept the post. In fact I was told by one Brother that he did not think that he had the required qualities, think about that Brethren, what is a Freemason?
The remaining Toasts were competently covered but I have to say that the one significant news item was that Colin and John English live very close and visit together, finishing up at either house, you got it, where a wee dram or two is taken. What a lovely way to finish the evening, I did when I got home.
Remember , Smile and be happy, you are Mark master Masons
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.